Upfront: CBS Goes 'Mentalist,' Spins Off 'NCIS'

CBS' NCIS: Los AngelesWith CBS crowing that it is the only network to be up in all demographics this current season, the network didn't need to tinker much with next season's schedule.

Its biggest push comes on Thursday, with the network moving its big rookie hit show "The Mentalist" to 10 p.m. from its Tuesday 9 p.m. time slot. It is looking to re-energize the network's Thursday night efforts -- especially with the sturdy, but somewhat slipping "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation."

In part, this decision comes from what Les Moonves, president/CEO of CBS Corp., said was a real opportunity to gain market share at 10 p.m., now that NBC has decided to run Jay Leno five nights a week then.

CBS' other big move was on Tuesday with "NCIS"; last year the veteran show surprisingly soared into the top 10 ratings. It now has a companion spinoff, "NCIS: Los Angeles," which will begin at 9 p.m., right after "NCIS" at 8 p.m., starring LL Cool J.



CBS will add "The Good Wife," a legal drama at 10 p.m., for the night, starring Julianna Margulies as a defense attorney who re-assumes her career after a public sex and political scandal lands her husband in jail.

On Monday, the network will move around its comedies -- "How I Met Your Mother" to 8 p.m. and "The Big Bang Theory" to 9:30 p.m. -- and will add a new comedy. "Accidentally on Purpose" stars Jenna Elfman as a single San Francisco movie critic who accidentally gets pregnant.

CBS picks up NBC's "Medium" for a Friday night run at 9 p.m. -- a show that Nina Tassler, president of CBS Entertainment, says fits perfectly. "If 'Ghost Whisperer' and 'Numbers' had an offspring, it would be 'Medium,'" she says.

On Sunday, CBS adds "Three Rivers," starring Alex O'Loughlin, who runs a Pittsburgh facility that handles organ transplants. It runs at 9 p.m. "Cold Case" moves to 10 p.m.

Overall, "we wanted to get more women; we wanted to get younger," says Tassler.

Not making the cut for the 2009-2010 season: "Without a Trace" and "The Unit." Midseason shows include returning comedy "Rules of Engagement," new medical show "Miami Trauma" and a new drama about a police union leader, "The Bridge."

New reality shows include "Arranged Marriage," exploring the world of arranged weddings, and "Undercover Boss," where senior-level executives go undercover at their company's lowest-level jobs.

CBS Prime Time Schedule - Fall 2009


8:00 How I Met Your Mother
8:30 Accidentally On Purpose
9:00 Two and a Half Men
9:30 The Big Bang Theory
10:00 CSI Miami


8:00 NCIS
9:00 NCIS: Los Angeles
10:00The Good Wife


8:00 The New Adventures of Old Christine
8:30: Gary Unmarried
9:00 Criminal Minds
9:30 CSI:NY


8:00 Survivor
9:00 CSI
10:00 The Mentalist


8:00 Ghost Whisperer
9:00 Medium
10:00 Numb3rs


8:00 Crime Drama
9:00 Crime Drama
10:00 48 Hours


7:00 60 Minutes
8:00 The Amazing Race
9:00 Three Rivers
10:00 Cold Case

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